|Height: 5-11 | Weight: 215 | College: California|
When J.J. Arrington graduated after the 2004 season, the Golden Bears' coaching staff was concerned about the running back situation. Enter Marshawn Lynch, who calmed those concerns and spent the next two seasons becoming only the second player in school history to gain over 1,000 yards on the ground in consecutive years. The talented tailback decided to forgo his final year of eligibility and enter the 2007 NFL Draft. Fortunately for the Bears, there will be no questions about the Cal running game next season, as Lynch turns the job over to the a capable younger pupil, Justin Forsett.
Lynch was a Prep Star and Super Prep All-American and San Francisco Chronicle East Bay Player of the Year after he rushed for 1,722 yards and caught 17 passes in eight regular-season games in 2003 at Oakland Tech. He added an additional 375 yards rushing and 115 yards receiving (on seven catches) in two postseason games, including in Tech's 55-47 upset over Skyline High in the Silver Bowl, in which he rushed for 233 yards and scored six times.
Lynch was ranked the No. 3 overall player in Northern California by NorCal Preps.com his senior year and Rivals.com ranked Lynch the 10th-best running back in the nation. On Rivals.com's Super West 60 list, he was the ninth-best overall player. He was rated the best running back on the West Coast by Student Sports magazine and Super Prep tabbed him 17th among prep running backs nationally, No. 8 in the state of California. He was also a member of the Long Beach Press-Telegram Best in the West first-team.
Lynch tallied 53 touchdowns combined as a junior and senior with 33 total scores in final season, including 10 in the playoffs. He rushed for 1,320 yards, caught 23 passes and totaled 20 touchdowns as a junior. Lynch closed out his career as the school's first three-time All-League first-team selection.
Lynch enrolled at California in 2004 and immediately showed why he was rated one of the nation's premier prep players. He appeared in 12 games behind J.J. Arrington at tailback, gaining 628 yards with eight touchdowns (8.8 yards-per-carry average) on 71 carries, earning Freshman All-American honors. He ranked third in the Pac-10 Conference with a 24.8-yard average on 15 kickoff returns, good for 372 yards. He caught 19 passes for 147 yards (7.7 avg) and two scores, adding 34 yards and a touchdown as he completed both of his pass attempts. He recorded two solo tackles, scored 60 points and generated 1,147 all-purpose yards, averaging 95.58 yards per game.
Despite ranking ninth in the nation with an average of 164.2 all-purpose yards per game, Lynch was named only Pac-10 Conference honorable mention. He started 9 of 10 games in which he played -- he missed two games with a broken finger -- but still managed to lead the team and rank third in the Pac-10 with an average of 124.6 yards per game on the ground. He rushed 196 times for 1,246 yards (6.4 avg) and 10 touchdowns. Lynch also grabbed 15 passes for 125 yards (8.3 avg) and completed 1 of 2 passes for a 21-yard score. He had one solo tackle, 13 kickoff returns for 271 yards (20.8 avg) and ranked second on the team in scoring with 60 points.
Lynch was named All-American and All-Pac-10 first-team and Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Year in 2006. At times playing with two sprained ankles and a sore back, he still led the conference in both rushing (104.31 yards per game) and all-purpose yardage (137.31 ypg). He started 11 of 13 games, leading the team with 1,356 yards and 11 touchdowns on 223 attempts (6.1 avg). He snared 34 passes for 328 yards (9.6 avg) and four scores and recorded a pair of tackles. He scored 90 points, returned five kickoffs for 101 yards (20.2 avg) and totaled 1,785 all-purpose yards.
Lynch played in 35 games at California, starting 20 times. He became the fourth player in school history to rush for over 3,000 yards in a career, carrying 490 times for 3,230 yards (6.6 avg) and 29 touchdowns. He caught 68 passes for 600 yards (8.8 avg) and six scores. He completed 3 of 4 passes for 55 yards and two touchdowns, adding 744 yards on 33 kickoff returns (22.5 avg). Lynch recorded five tackles (four solos) and gained 4,574 all-purpose yards, an average of 130.69 yards per game.
Positives: Has a solid build with good upper-body muscle definition, big bubble, thick thighs, high calves, broad shoulders, good chest thickness Can generate a second gear to separate in the open and has the nimble feet needed to make precise lateral cuts His loose hips and change-of-direction agility make him very elusive avoiding traffic Keeps his feet after contact and has the pick-and-slide agility to elude when running in-line Runs with a normal stride, but is very crisp redirecting on the move Has a good understanding of the offense and blocking schemes Shows the vision to locate the soft areas in the zone and shows no hesitation redirecting when rush lanes are clogged Effective blocker and a tough inside runner who loves to challenge the defender in one-on-one situations Will aggressively take on a tackler and will sacrifice his body to compete for the pass over the middle Mentally tough character who doesn't let mistakes take him out of his game Highly respected by his teammates and staff, bringing a good attitude into the locker room with his work ethic and ability to keep the players "loose."
Shows good in-stride quickness when adjusting his direction and can clear the line of scrimmage in an instant when he keeps his pad level down Has a quick burst out of his stance and shows steady acceleration on his long runs Has that competitive quickness and balance, along with loose hips to redirect and separate in the open Excels at finding cutback lanes Has the ability to bounce off the tackle and make the initial defender miss Patient runner who has success because of his feel for the rush lanes, as it is rare to see him run into traffic Downhill runner with the slippery moves and change-of-direction agility to get through trash Very good stop-and-go runner, whose precise cutting agility will generally cause the initial tackler overrun and overpursue Compensates for a lack of sudden sustained speed with very good lateral slide and veering moves to avoid His balance lets him keep his feet, redirect and race through cutback lanes to gain additional yardage after contact Has soft, natural hands and does a good job of catching the ball outside his frame Possesses the vision to look the ball in over his outside shoulder and the cutting agility to separate after the catch Willing blocker with a good eye for picking up the blitz Shows good intent and aggression chipping on edge rushers and gives the quarterback enough room to operate when protecting the pocket.
Negatives: Not an explosive runner around the corner, but shows very good patience waiting for blocks to develop Has good body lean, but sometimes gets too high in his stance when attempting to race into the second level, failing to sidestep low blocks in the process Can be tripped up when he gets tall in his stance, as he does not always protect his feet Knows how to get skinny through tight creases, but needs to improve his leg drive, as he is not the type of running who can move the pile Will sometimes get too fancy and execute multiple moves (see 2006 Washington State, Washington and UCLA games), allowing the defender to recover Needs to distribute the ball better to keep it away from the defenders (see 2006 Minnesota and Stanford games and 2005 Sacramento State and Oregon State) to prevent costly fumbles Protects the ball better running through traffic than when bouncing outside, but also struggled some when handling a pitch or toss.
Compares To: JOSEPH ADDAI, Indianapolis Colts (LSU) Lynch is slippery as an inside runner and, like Addai, is patient and possesses the second gear needed to break away from the pack. He has the acceleration to separate from defenders in the open, excellent arm strength for the option pass and natural hands as a receiver coming out of the backfield.
Lynch is only the fourth player in school history to rush for over 3,000 yards in a season, ranking second on the school's all-time list with 3,230 yards, the 15th-best career total in Pac-10 Conference history He joins Russell White (3,495 yards, 1990-92) Joe Igber (3,124 yards, 1999-02) and Chuck Muncie (3,052 yards, 1973-75) as members of the Golden Bears' 3,000-yard club He rushed for over 100 yards 17 times, breaking the Cal record of 15 100-yard games shared by White and Muncie Lynch's 490 rushing attempts rank sixth in school history behind Paul Jones (715, 1975, 77-79), Igber (678), White (663), Muncie (549) and Reynard Rutherford (491, 1992-95) Lynch also joined another exclusive Cal club, becoming the fourth player in school history to amass over 4,000 all-purpose yards, gaining 4,574 yards, joining Deltha O'Neal (4,998 yards, 1996-99), White (4,943 yards, 1990-92) and Muncie (4,194 yards, 1973-75) Ranks 10th in school history with an average of 22.5 yards per kickoff return Ranks eighth on the Golden Bears' all-time scoring list with 210 points, topped only by Doug Brien (288 points, 1991-93), Duke (John Wayne) Morrison (277, 1920-22), Jim Breech (260, 1974-77), Mark Jensen (244, 1999-02), Robbie Keen (244, 1987-90), White (242) and Muncie (224) With 1,246 yards on the ground in 2005 and 1,356 more in 2006, Lynch joined White (1,000 in 1990, 1,177 in 1991 and 1,069 in 1992) as the only players in school history to rush for over 1,000 yards twice during their California careers His 1,246 yards rushing in 2005 rank fourth and his 1,356 yards in 2006 rank third on the school list behind J.J. Arrington (2,018 yards in 2004) and Muncie (1,460 in 1975) Lynch's 1,642 all-purpose yards in 2005 rank sixth and his 1,785 all-purpose yards in 2006 rank third on the school's season-record list, topped only by Arrington (2,139 in 2004) and Muncie (1,871 in 1975) Lynch's average of 8.8 yards per rushing attempt in 2004 was the best average by a California runner in a season since Charlie Sarver averaged 9.9 yards per carry in 1949 (317 yards on 32 attempts).
All-American first-team selection by The NFL Draft Report and the American Football Coaches Association, adding second-team honors from Rivals.com First-team All-Pac-10 Conference pick and the league's offensive player of the year Semifinalist for the Maxwell Award (nation's top player) and Doak Walker Award (college's best running back) Recipient of the Bear Backer Award, given to the team's Most Valuable Player Earned Pac-10 Player of the Week honors vs. Washington Led the Pac-10 in rushing (104.31 ypg), the 12th-best total in the NCAA Division 1-A ranks His average of 137.31 all-purpose yards per game ranked 17th in the nation and led the conference Started 11 of 13 games but was hampered during midseason with a sore back and sprains to both ankles Was fitted for special shoes called "Vick shoes," that were originally designed for Atlanta Falcons' quarterback Michael Vick. It was an oversized shoe with extra cushion that allowed his ankles to absorb the punishment issued when changing direction or driving with his legs Lynch still managed to lead the team in rushing for the second consecutive year Carried 223 times for a career-high 1,356 yards (6.1 avg) and 11 touchdowns Joined Russell White (1,000 in 1990, 1,177 in 1991 and 1,069 in 1992) as the only players in school history to rush for over 1,000 yards in two seasons during their California careers His 1,356 yards rank third on the team's single-season list, topped only by J.J. Arrington (2,018 yards in 2004) and Chuck Muncie (1,460 in 1975) Ranked fourth on the squad with 34 receptions for 328 yards (9.6 avg) and four scores, adding 101 yards on five kickoff returns (20.2 avg) Recorded two tackles and scored 90 points His 1,785 all-purpose yards rank third on the Cal single-season list behind J.J. Arrington (2,139 in 2004) and Chuck Muncie (1,871 in 1975) Had two of his five fumbles recovered by the opposition, was tackled behind the line of scrimmage 25 times and stopped for no gain on 12 other attempts Registered 69 first downs rushing and 11 more receiving Converted 9 of 15 third-down runs and 3 of 4 fourth-down attempts Also converted 2 of 6 third-down catches into first downs Had 36 runs for longer than 10 yards, including 11 for 20 yards or longer Added eight receptions for at least 20 yards apiece Had big running plays that set up 16 touchdown drives and three others that resulted in field goals, adding four big catches that led to touchdown drives and one more that ended with a Cal field goal Had 26 positive runs inside the red zone, including 13 on goal-line plays Ran for over 100 yards in eight contests and totaled over 100 all-purpose yards in 11 games (all except for Oregon and Stanford).
|2006 Game Analysis|
Tennessee The Vols held Lynch in check in a 35-18 Cal loss in the season opener, limiting the tailback to 74 yards on 12 carries, adding 22 yards on five receptions and 45 yards on two kickoff returns Four of his carries produced first downs Lynch took down Inquoris Johnson after the defender intercepted a Joe Ayoob 3rd-and-8 pass and returned it 10 yards to the UT 26 midway through the third quarter Lynch's longest run for the day was a 22-yarder over right guard later in the third quarter Head-to-Head Competition -- MLB#40 Marvin Mitchell -- Seven tackles (3 solo), two stops for minus-7 yards, a pass deflection, one pressure.
Minnesota Lynch fumbled and committed a foolish personal foul, but the Heisman-hyped tailback also had 27 carries for 139 yards and a pair of touchdowns, adding 56 yards on three kickoff returns while wearing down Minnesota's defense. The Gophers yielded 531 yards -- 371 in the first half -- in the schools' first meeting in nineteen years A thick fog settled onto Memorial Stadium in the fourth quarter, gathering around the temporary light stanchions in Strawberry Canyon while Lynch bulled into the end zone for Cal's final score with 2:51 to play He had earlier capped a third quarter 14-play, 79-yard drive with a 5-yard scoring burst In the first quarter, Lynch was penalized fifteen yards for a personal foul, prompting this response from head coach Jeff Tedford after the game, "We had one personal foul by Lynch that I was really upset with; it happened over on their sideline. We can't be undisciplined to where we throw any type of thing that looks like a punch to get somebody off of us. I was very disappointed with that. What they do, I can't control, but what we can do is control what we do. There wasn't a big talk about that on the side-line, what they were doing when they got called for the personal foul. Our personal fouls, we had a couple of guys playing snap-to-whistle and I didn't think it was right to call personal fouls for our guys blocking until the very end of the play." In addition to two scoring runs, Lynch made up for the early penalty with a 1st-and-goal run that netted four yards to the Minnesota 2. On the next play, QB Nate Longshore lobbed a 2-yard touchdown pass to DeSean Jackson at the start of the second quarter Lynch rushed left for one yard on the team's next drive, but fumbled the ball and Minnesota recovered it at the Cal 41 On his final touchdown run, Lynch set up that 3rd-and-goal, 1-yard score by converting a 4th-and-1 run into a 5-yard gain during that 78-yard, 16-play drive Record Watch -- His 139 yards marked the 10th time in his career that Lynch ran for over 100 yards in a game, the fourth-best career total in school history Head-to-Head Competition -- MLB#58 Mike Sherels --Three tackles (two solo), one pressure.
Portland State Lynch had with 112 yards and a touchdown on only six carries; he was nursing an ankle sprain Lynch had an impressive run early in the second quarter, escaping a midfield pile and dodging two more tacklers before rumbling 71 yards into the end zone. The run was the longest of Lynch's career, besting a 70-yard touchdown run at Washington two years ago He also reeled off a 23-yard run up the middle to the PSU 3-yard line, where QB Nate Longshore then threw a scoring strike to Cameron Morrah Head-to-Head Competition -- MLB#29 K.J. McCrae -- No tackles.
Arizona State After one ankle sprain the previous week, Lynch tweaked his other ankle, but still managed to gain 124 yards on 17 attempts, including two runs for more than 20 yards. He added 33 yards and a score on two receptions A run left for 10 yards was followed by a 10-yard right-sideline catch that led to Nate Longshore's 9-yard touchdown pass to Justin Forsett in the first quarter Lynch then hauled in a 23-yard seam pass from Longshore for a score early in the second quarter, followed by a 40-yard run off left tackle with 1:31 left in the first half Lynch added a 20-yard burst up the middle in the fourth quarter Head-to-Head Competition -- MLB#51 Beau Manutai -- Three tackles (two solo).
Oregon State Lynch rested his sore ankles, sitting out most of the fourth quarter, but he'd done enough damage in a 41-13 victory, carrying 17 times for 106 yards and a touchdown, with three runs for 10 yards or longer. He also snared three passes for 59 yards and a pair of scores Lynch capped a six-play, 74-yard first quarter drive with a 15-yard touchdown run up the middle Nate Longshore found Lynch with a 27-yard scoring toss that set up by Lynch's six- and 13-yard runs on the previous plays, ending an 80-yard, seven-play series The tailback would fumble the ball on a rushing attempt at midfield late in the second quarter, but Cal recovered the ball when it rolled out of bounds Lynch then closed out his day with a 28-yard touchdown reception that concluded an eight-play, 80-yard third-quarter drive Head-to-Head Competition -- MLB#43 Alan Darlin -- Five tackles (two solo).
Oregon Justin Forsett ran for 163 yards and a touchdown in place of an injured Marshawn Lynch for the Bears. Lynch rushed for 50 yards on seven tries and caught a 23-yard pass, but re-sprained his troublesome ankle and hurt his lower back in the second quarter He kept an early second quarter drive alive with a 23-yard catch, followed by a fourth-&-1 run for a 1-yard gain and then set up Nate Longshore's 1-yard scoring run with a 24-yard scamper, leaving the game right after that play Because of the injury, Lynch's string of 10 consecutive games with at least 100 all-purpose yards was snapped Head-to-Head Competition -- MLB#33-Blair Phillips -- Eight tackles (five solo).
Washington State Lynch ran for 152 yards and two touchdowns on 25 attempts and caught three passes for 17 yards, as California won in Martin Stadium for the first time in 27 years, beating Washington State, 21-3 Lynch set the tone of the game on the team's first two plays from scrimmage, running for gains of 42 & 8 yards Washington State intercepted a Nate Longshore pass on the Cougars' 7, but was forced to punt from the 16 in the first quarter. Nu'u Tafisi blocked Darryl Blunt's punt and recovered it on the WSU 5. Two plays later, Lynch ran 2 yards for the score The Pac-10 Conference's leading rusher, ran untouched for an 8-yard score after Daymeion Hughes intercepted Alex Brink on the WSU 12 When Lynch eclipsed the 100-yard rushing mark in the third quarter, he would become only one of two opponents this season to rush for over 100 yards against the WSU defense Asked by reporters to talk about the offense after the game, Lynch replied,
"We didn't put up the amount of points that we've been doing in the past, but a win is a win no matter how you get it so I'm satisfied. My touchdown runs were just basic and I had great blocking up front that got me in there. I'd heard that we hadn't won here in 20-odd years. It just feels good to come up here and get the victory." Record Watch -- Lynch went over 100 rushing yards for the 14th time during his career, one shy of the school record of 15, shared by Russell White (1990-92) and Chuck Muncie (1973-75) Head-to-Head Competition -- MLB#52-Greg Trent -- Seven tackles (two solo), one pressure.
Washington Lynch ran for 150 yards and two scores, including a 22-yard touchdown in overtime, carrying 21 times while snatching four passes for 53 yards as California recovered from Washington's improbable tying score on a deflected pass as time expired for a 31-24 victory over the Huskies Lynch had a 30-yard scamper early in the second quarter and set up Justin Forsett's 1-yard scoring plunge with carries that netted four, 16 and four yards, sandwiched around a 26-yard reception at the start of the second half He added 11 and 21-yard catches before running around right tackle for a 17-yard touchdown midway through the fourth quarter Lynch later scored the game-winning touchdown on a burst around left tackle in overtime. Although Memorial Stadium was deathly quiet when Cal lost the overtime coin flip, Lynch rolled to a 22-yard score on the Bears' second play. The Huskies advanced to the Cal 6, but Bears linebacker Desmond Bishop intercepted a short pass and returned it about 80 yards with the entire Cal roster chasing him down the field Lynch added to the festivities when he commandeered the cart used to carry injured players from the field of play. He drove it onto the field, jubilantly leaving turn tracks on Cal's artificial turf while the student section went crazy Talking about his talented tailback after the game, head coach Jeff Tedford said: "It was such a gutsy performance by Lynch today. He put the offense on his back and to make so many plays like he did today is just a phenomenal performance." Asked about the lift he gave the team, despite playing with two bad ankles, Lynch replied: "The start of the game was where we got lifted. My man (Forsett) took the first snaps. I give big ups to Justin for getting me through today and through practice because that's where it starts. That's how we got through this game, from all of the hard days at practice." Record Watch -- This marked the 15th game in his career in which Lynch rushed for more than 100 yards, tying the school career-record that he shares with Russell White and Chuck Muncie Head-to-Head Competition -- MLB#47 -- Tahj Bomar -- Four tackles (two solo), one stop for a 1-yard loss.
UCLA Lynch caught one of Nate Longshore's three touchdown passes and ran for another score as Cal won its eighth consecutive game, 38-24 over the Bruins. Lynch had 20 runs for 81 yards and a score, adding 45 yards on four receptions. Seven of his runs produced first downs, converting two third-down plays The tailback was tackled for a two-yard loss on the first play of the game, but then caught a 12-yard pass, followed by 11-, six- and seven-yard runs to set up Longshore's 10-yard scoring strike to Robert Jordan Midway through the second quarter, he hauled in a 24-yard touchdown pass from Longshore that ended a seven-play, 76-yard drive, as Lynch slipped past a handful of tackles with his usual brute grace. "He's real shifty," UCLA safety Dennis Keyes said. "You think you have him in one spot, but he gives you a look and makes a play" At the 11:09 mark of the second quarter, Lynch dragged a defender into the end zone for a four-yard touchdown. It was his ninth rushing touchdown of the season Head-to-Head Competition -- MLB#33 Christian Taylor -- Five tackles (three solo).
Arizona The Cal tailback set the school career-record with his sixteenth 100-yard performance, gaining 102 yards on 16 tries, but also fumbled once in the third quarter (Cal recovered it) His late first quarter 55-yard scamper set up Tom Schneider's 46-yard field goal Head-to-Head Competition -- MLB#51 Spencer Larsen -- Six tackles (five solo), shared one tackle for a two-yard loss.
Southern California Lynch tallied 88 yards on 20 attempts, but fumbled once and was tackled twice behind the line of scrimmage Added 21 yards on five receptions, but had an apparent scoring run called back when it was ruled a whistle had blown the play dead. Late in the fourth quarter, Lynch appeared to have a 70-yard touchdown run, but replay showed his knee had been down after nine yards He recovered his own fumble at the start of the second quarter and then kept that drive alive with a 17-yard gain on a 3rd-and-15 run Head-to-Head Competition -- MLB#58 Rey Maualuga -- Four tackles (two solo).
Stanford Lynch was held to 67 yards on 15 attempts, as he was tackled three times behind the line of scrimmage. He also had a 25-yard grab His 13-, six- and three-yard runs over the right side of the line set up a 55-yard Cal field goal late in the first quarter and he set up a second quarter 23-yard field goal with a 23-yard reception Early in the fourth quarter, Stanford linebacker Michael Okwo forced Lynch to fumble at the Cal 14, but the Cardinals failed to capitalize on the turnover when Aaron Zagory missed on a 29-yard field-goal attempt Head-to-Head Competition -- MLB#44 Pat Mayne -- Eight tackles (six solo) and one stop behind the line of scrimmage.
Texas A&M (Holiday Bowl) Two years after a BCS snub led to an uninspired trip to San Diego, the No. 21 Golden Bears dominated the Texas A&M Aggies, 45-10, behind Lynch's 111 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries and 17 yards on three receptions The Pac-10 Conference Offensive Player of the Year scored on a 2-yard run in the second quarter to give Cal a 14-7 lead Lynch scored on a 1-yard run in the third, leaping over the line and fumbling as he came down in the end zone. The Aggies recovered and referee John O'Neill signaled first down for Texas A&M, then said the play was being reviewed. Replay official Jim Augustyn ruled that Lynch had possession when he crossed the goal line, making it 21-10 Cal On a late third-quarter series, Lynch had carries for three, 16 and three yards to set up Nate Longshore's 4-yard scoring lob to Lavelle Hawkins to end a nine-play, 72-yard drive Lynch followed with nine-, 13- and eight-yard runs to give Cal field position to kick a 21-yard field goal in the fourth quarter Head-to-Head Competition -- MLB#50 Mark Dodge -- Eight tackles (one solo).
Third-Team All-American selection as an all-purpose back by The NFL Draft Report All-Pac-10 Conference honorable mention, ranking third in the league and seventh in the nation in rushing, averaging 124.6 yards per game Ranked ninth nationally and third in the Pac-10 with an average of 164.2 all-purpose yards per game Started 9 of 10 games in which he played, missing the Illinois and New Mexico State contests with a bruised left hand and left pinky fracture suffered vs. Washington Led the team with 1,246 yards and 10 touchdowns on 196 carries (6.4-yard average) His 1,246 yards rank fourth on the school's single-season list Finished fourth on the squad with 15 receptions for 125 yards (8.3 avg) and returned 13 kickoffs for 271 yards (20.8 avg) Scored 60 points, recorded one solo tackle and completed 1 of 2 passes for a 21-yard touchdown His 1,642 all-purpose yards rank sixth on Cal's single-season list Turned the ball over three times on five fumbles, was tackled behind the line of scrimmage 11 times and had 11 more attempts result in no gain Produced 58 first-down runs, converting 2 of 7 third-down plays Added four more first downs receiving, including 2 of 8 on third-down plays Had 39 carries for gains of 10 yards or more, including 16 for at least 20 yards each and caught three passes for 20 yards or more Had big runs that set up 18 touchdown drives and four more that resulted in field goals Also had a reception to set up a touchdown drive and another on a series that ended with a field goal Had 16 positive runs inside the red zone, including 10 on goal-line plays Rushed for over 100 yards in seven contests.
|2005 Game Analysis|
Sacramento State Lynch opened the season in explosive fashion, rushing 24 times for 147 yards and a 2-yard touchdown in the third quarter that he set up with a 21-yard run But, he also fumbled twice in the first quarter Coach Jeff Tedford talked about Lynch's struggles in the first quarter before righting himself, stating. "Lynch had a very good day in the second half. The first half it looked like we hadn't been practicing for three weeks. We were dropping the ball on hand offs, and it looked ridiculous. It was the sloppiest game I've ever seen offensively. I'm going to go back and focus on little things. They are not even big things, 10 minutes of ball handling every single day and it looks like we haven't even done it for five minutes in the last three weeks, so I am not real happy with that." Head-to-Head Competition -- MLB#43 Tyson Butler -- Three solo tackles, one stop for a three-yard loss, a four-yard interception return.
Washington The Cal tailback was limited to five carries for 46 yards before suffering a left hand contusion and broken pinky on the game's first offensive series of the third quarter. He returned later, but was used mostly as a decoy Late in the first quarter, Joe Ayoob and Cal's offense displayed its potency, taking just 1:19 to score. Marshawn Lynch ran for 25 yards, then Ayoob completed the next four passes, the final one to Robert Jordan on a 9-yard touchdown Lynch also set up Ayoob's 24-yard scoring strike to Jordan early in the second quarter when he caught a 3rd-and-24 pass for 25 yards Head-to-Head Competition -- MLB#53 Joe Lobendahn -- Five tackles (three solos).
Illinois and New Mexico State Did not play (finger/hand).
Arizona Lynch, who missed the two previous games with a broken finger, scored in the first quarter and gave Cal its 17th game in a row with a 100-yard rusher; he totaled 107 yards on 20 tries and 11 yards on two catches Lynch got nicked up on one hit on his injured left hand, leading to a fumble, but said he felt good otherwise. "He was back to his normal self, not going down easily,'' head coach Jeff Tedford said. "I thought he did a pretty good job up the middle and holding onto the ball.'' Lynch's first rushing attempt in three weeks resulted in a 29-yard gain He attempted a pass and then capped the eight-play, 45-yard drive with a 1-yard touchdown run over right guard with 47 seconds left in the opening period Early in the second quarter, the tailback bounced off right guard for a 15-yard gain, thanks to a crunching block by QB Joe Ayoob and then returned the favor by clearing out a rush lane that Ayoob used for a 1-yard touchdown run that finished a 12-play, 79-yard drive Head-to-Head Competition -- MLB#39 Dane Krogstad -- Eight tackles (seven solo), one sack (for minus-8 yards).
UCLA Lynch ran for 135 yards and a touchdown on 22 attempts, adding a 13-yard reception He set up a 32-yard field goal early in the second quarter with runs of 18, 11 and four yards Lynch then had an 11-yard scamper that was followed by Joe Ayoob's 35-yard touchdown pass to DeSean Jackson On the team's next drive, the tailback had runs of six, 22 and three yards to set up Tom Schneider's 27-yard field goal He followed with a 13-yard catch and nine-, three- and 11-yard runs before scoring on an 11-yard burst over right tackle to cap a seven-play, 72-yard drive Cal produced a pair of 100-yard rushers in Lynch (22-135) and Justin Forsett (10-153). This is the first time Cal has had two 100-yard rushers in the same game since the Cal-Stanford game on Nov. 20, 2004, when Lynch ran nine times for 122 yards and J.J. Arrington ran 27 times for 169 yards Head-to-Head Competition -- MLB#9 Justin London -- Eight tackles (five solo), one tackle for a 3-yard loss.
Oregon State Lynch was held to 58 yards on 14 carries, but was benched by head coach Jeff Tedford for the second half after two fumbles Lynch threw a 21-yard touchdown pass along the sidelines to QB Joe Ayoob on a flea-flicker His first fumble came on a four-yard run to the Cal 10 late in the second quarter; OSU's Joe Lemma recovered the turnover With 2:39 left in the first half, Lynch fumbled again at the Cal 39 on a two-yard run up the middle and OSU recovered it, setting up a 27-yard field goal Head-to-Head Competition -- MLB#44 -- Trent Bray-Nine tackles (seven solos).
Washington State Lynch rebounded with 25 carries for 160 yards and a touchdown, adding 106 yards on six kickoff returns and 12 yards on a reception Lynch scored on a 39-yard scamper down the right sideline in the first quarter for his longest run of the year Lynch, who had 97 yards at halftime, reached 100 yards in the third quarter with his 17th carry. That marked the19th time in 20 games a Cal running back has rushed for 100 yards Lynch finished the game with 278 all-purpose yards Head-to-Head Competition -- MLB#52 Greg Trent -- Seven tackles (five solos), a seven-yard sack, one pass deflection.
Oregon Lynch totaled a then career-high 189 yards with two touchdowns on 25 chances, as eight of his carries produced first downs and seven of his runs were for 10 yards or longer, including three attempts for at least 20 yards each. He also made three catches for 13 yards and returned two kickoffs for 46 yards, finishing the day with 248 all-purpose yards He scored on a 1-yard plunge late in the first quarter and set up a second quarter 21-yard field goal with 11- and two-yard carries, followed by a 10-yard reception Late in the third quarter, Lynch broke free from four would-be tacklers en route to a 52-yard scoring scamper He also had a 31-yard rushing attempt with two minutes left in the game Head-to-Head Competition -- MLB#33 Blair Phillips -- Nine tackles (four solos), a seven-yard sack, two stops behind the line of scrimmage, an interception, one pressure.
Southern California Lynch had with 13 attempts for 87 yards, two catches for 26 yards and four kickoff returns for 91 yards, gaining more than 200 all-purpose yards (204) for the third-straight game He had a game-long 35-yard run in the third quarter and tackled Ryan Ting after the defender intercepted a Joe Ayoob pass for a three-yard return at the start of the fourth quarter Head-to-Head Competition -- MLB#41 Thomas Williams -- Two solo tackles.
Stanford Lynch rushed 24 times for 123 yards and a touchdown He set up Justin Forsett's 21-yard touchdown run with carries that netted three, four and 12 yards early in the third quarter The second-to-last play of the third quarter put Lynch over the 1,000-yard mark for the first time in his career. Lynch entered the game with 929 yards and had been averaging 116.1 yards per game. He pushed his total to 1,060 rushing yards on the season, eighth-best on Cal's single-season rushing list He ran for a 3-yard score midway through the fourth quarter and set up a 14-yard scoring strike from Terrell Williams to Craig Stevens on the next drive, with four- and 22-yard runs Head-to-Head Competition -- MLB#48 Mike Silva -- One solo tackle.
Brigham Young (Las Vegas Bowl) Lynch had no time to tie a loose shoelace. He was too busy carrying California to a victory in the Las Vegas Bowl. During his second touchdown run, his untied shoe stayed with him better than any BYU tackler. "I almost, almost slipped," Lynch claimed of his 23-yard sprint in the second quarter. Those who witnessed his performance in the Golden Bears' 35-28 win over Brigham Young probably wouldn't believe Lynch, but everybody got a look at the wealth of offensive talent coming back to Cal in 2006 Lynch rushed for 194 yards and three touchdowns to win game MVP honors. "He's fast, athletic and talented," BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall said of Lynch After starting on the 35-yard line after the opening kickoff went out of bounds, Cal opened its first possession with a 22-yard pass from Steve Levy to Lynch. BYU helped the Golden Bears down the field by committing two penalties inside their own 20-yard line and, after eight plays, Cal cashed in with a 3-yard touchdown run by Lynch Cal then went 52 yards on four plays in 2:08 on the next drive. The Bears used another Cougar defensive penalty, pass interference on Kayle Buchanan, to put them deep into BYU territory. On the next play, Lynch crossed the goal line for the second time in the game on a 23-yard touchdown scamper to put the Golden Bears on top 14-7 Coming out of intermission, Cal stopped BYU cold and then put together another quick strike on offense. The Bears marched 65 yards in 2:01 behind 45 rushing yards on three carries, including a 35-yard touchdown by Lynch to put Cal up 28-14. The touchdown was Lynch's third of the game Record Watch -- For the first time since 1990, Cal almost featured two 1,000-yard rushers in one season. Marshawn Lynch entered the bowl game with 1,052 yards, and Justin Forsett had 962. With his 37 vs. BYU, Forsett finished the 2005 season one yard shy of 1,000, with 999. Lynch closed out the year with 1,246 yards Head-to-Head Competition -- MLB#35 Cameron Jensen -- Ten tackles (four solo).
Freshman All-American second-team pick and rated the second-best true freshman running back in the country by Rivals.com Third-team Freshman All-American choice by The Sporting News Playing behind Cal's first 2,000-yard rusher, J.J. Arrington (2,018), Lynch saw reserve action in twelve contests, ranking ninth in the Pac-10 Conference with an average of 95.58 all-purpose yards per game Rushed 71 times for 628 yards and eight touchdowns His average of 8.8 yards per attempt was the best season average by a Cal runner since Charlie Sarver averaged 9.9 yards per carry in 1949 (317 yards on 32 attempts) Caught nineteen passes for 147 yards (7.7 avg) and two scores Ranked third in the conference with a 24.8-yard average on fifteen kickoff returns for 372 yards Was the team's third-leading scorer with 60 points Completed both pass attempts for 34 yards, including a 20-yard touchdown and recorded a pair of solo tackles Amassed 1,147 all-purpose yards Turned the ball over once on a fumble in the New Mexico State clash Ran for over 100 yards in back-to-back games vs. Washington and Stanford.
|2004 Game Analysis|
Air Force The talented tailback made his collegiate debut a memorable one, gaining 92 yards on seven carries with a 43-yard scoring scamper in the fourth quarter.
Oregon State Rushed four times for 24 yards and returned the first kickoff of his career 69 yards.
Southern California Ran for 36 yards on eight tries, including a 2-yard touchdown.
UCLA Gained 41 yards on five carries and caught a 27-yard touchdown pass from QB Aaron Rodgers in the third quarter.
Oregon Collected 25 yards on seven runs, 41 yards on three catches and 58 yards on three kickoff returns Also threw a 20-yard touchdown to Burl Toler.
Washington Had his first 100-yard game for the Bears, totaling 121 yards on only nine tries, as he scored on attempts of 32 and 70 yards He also snatched a 29-yard scoring strike from Aaron Rodgers, returned two kickoffs for 51 yards and completed a 14-yard pass to Robert Jordan.
Stanford Lynch produced a season-high 122 yards on nine carries, including a 55-yard touchdown, as he also had a 3-yard reception and 40 yards on two kickoff returns.
Southern Mississippi Followed with five runs for 40 yards and a 12-yard touchdown, adding two catches for 14 yards and a 39-yard kickoff return.
Texas Tech (Holiday Bowl) Closed out his first college season with 115 yards on six kickoff returns, 26 yards on five carries, including a score and two catches for 10 yards.
2005: Left the Washington game (9/10) after he suffered a contusion on his left hand and a broken pinky. Lynch did return to action later in that contest as a decoy. The injury would sideline him for the next two games -- vs. Illinois (9/17) and New Mexico State (9/23) Left the Arizona game (10/01) briefly when he re-injured his left hand.
2006: Bothered most of the second half of the season with a sore back and sprained ankles Missed the second half of the Oregon game (10/23) because of the back and ankle injuries, then played the rest of the season wearing "Vick shoes," oversized form-fitting shoes originally designed for Atlanta Falcons QB Michael Vick to reduce the amount of stress absorbed by the ankles when making hard cuts.
Campus: 4.46 in the 40-yard dash 355-pound bench press 485-pound squat 316-pound power clean 34-inch vertical jump 4.07 20-yard shuttle 32 1/2-inch arm length 9 5/8-inch hands.
Attended Oakland (Cal.) Technical High School. Was a Prep Star and Super Prep All-American and the San Francisco Chronicle's East Bay Player of the Year after he rushed for 1,722 yards and caught 17 passes in eight games in 2003 Added an additional 375 yards rushing and 115 yards receiving (on seven catches) in two postseason games in '03, including in Tech's 55-47 upset over Skyline High in the Silver Bowl, in which Lynch rushed for 233 yards and scored six times Ranked the No. 3 overall player in Northern California by NorCal Preps.com his senior year and the No. 10 running back by Rivals.com, which also named him the ninth-best overall player on its Super West 60 list Rated the best running back on the West Coast by Student Sports magazine and Super Prep tabbed him 16th among running backs nationally and the eighth-best overall player in California Member of the Long Beach Press-Telegram Best in the West first-team Tallied 53 touchdowns as a junior and senior, amassing 33 total scores in his final season, including 10 in the playoffs Rushed for 1,320 yards, caught 23 passes and totaled 20 touchdowns as a junior Closed out his career as the school's first three-time All-League first-team selection.
Social Welfare major Son of Delisa Lynch His 13-year old brother, Davonte, is a Pop Warner standout in Oakland Cousin, Robert Jordan, was a teammate at California, lettering as a wide receiver (2004-present) Another cousin, Virdell Larkins, was a teammate at Oakland Tech and hopes to join the California squad as a cornerback Born 4/22/86 Resides in Oakland, California.